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An unexpected glitch with cruise line’s own insurance

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I have also posted on the Princess board.

I have ALWAYS insisted on full travel insurance coverage whether for personal travel or taking my students overseas. And several times, I’ve had to make claims - blizzard state of emergency, sudden unexpected death in the family and the biggest claim: I had 25 students and chaperones in France in 2010 when that volcano erupted in Iceland and shut down airspace all over Europe. So we had to spend an extra week in Nice!!! At no additional cost because we had insurance.

I have used Princess insurance for cruises because at Platinum level, I get a bump-up in coverage without paying any more. Never had to make a claim. After my most recent trip I had to make a claim and found out the hard way that in trip delay the only travel costs covered are those booked through Princess.  So that’s when I reread the policy. How did I miss where it said self-booked is excluded?

It doesn’t. You have to read the definitions. The exclusion is in there but not directly stated. 


In the definitions section of the full-text policy: 

“Land/Sea Arrangements means pre-paid land and/or sea arrangements made by the Travel Supplier.” 

A couple of pages later in definitions:

 “Travel Supplier means Princess Cruises and/or Princess Tours.” 


Here’s what I DID read when I purchased the policy:

“Covered Expenses:
(a) Any prepaid, unused, non-refundable land and water accommodations;

Lesson learned. I’d skimmed through the entire policy  but ignored the the definitions section after reading a few that seemed so obvious. After reading the policy  I realized I had to book independent insurance for our two weeks in New Zealand after the cruise to cover anything that might happen on that independent travel before our flight home.


The delay:  Fabulous price with EZair, business class Newark to San Fran to Sydney. Weather problems in SF delayed our departure from EWR. We arrived 3 hours late and missed our connection to Sydney and arrived a day late in Sydney. Didn’t have to do a thing to rebook. Did call  EZair enroute support and they explained that the airline would reschedule, that they have entire department set up for that purpose. And they did. We flew to LAX late afternoon and left for SYD at 11pm. I’d prepaid hotel for 3 nights for a 40% discount.  (Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour which we LOVED!) So we lost the first night, about $160US. Filed the claim when I returned home and learned that Princess insurance would not reimburse because Princess had not booked and paid. Barb the travel booker is not covered. 


Of course we’d have paid way more for the two nights we WERE in Sydney, had we booked with Princess. But we’re still ahead! because the airline is sending a check for $300 for the inconvenience of 14 hrs in the airport (we decided just to stay because of the hour and not knowing the city and not knowing when we’d be rebooked.) 

Everything else was fabulous, start to finish. Booked on Sip and Sail, upsell from forward balcony to midship mini-suite $129 each for a 12-day cruise. No complaints! But - lesson learned and thought I should share.

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